MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Why is candle wax a sample of a hydrocarbon?

Date: Mon Sep 17 16:33:00 2001
Posted By: Dan Berger, MadSci Administrator
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1000147384.Ch

A hydrocarbon is any compound of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are chain 
molecules and come in many different sizes, from tars with as many as 80 carbons 
per molecule to "straight-run gasoline" which is a mixture of C6-C8 
hydrocarbons. But all of them contain only carbon and hydrogen. 

Candles are made of paraffin wax, which is a mixture of hydrocarbons in the 
C20-C30 range.

Dan Berger
MadSci Administrator

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